Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hot off the Palette

Starting a new painting is always hard for me. Why?  I usually use an image as my main source and I have thousands of photo images to choose from. This scene was taken from a photo that was taken on a gloomy grey day, but I LOVED the curve of the beach.

Still deciding on an appropriate title for it ... so for now ... it goes untitled.

Till Next Time ...
From the Prairies, to the West Coast and Beyond...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hot off the Palette

Just off the easel, and ready for a title. 

Working quickly on the background using large bold brush strokes, I wanted to create a smooth look. My reference photo had more of a sepia tone to it. My artistic license took over as I got a bit carried away with colour... I do love colour.

The trees in the foreground really framed off the painting. Now I just need a title. Any suggestions?

28 x 22" acrylic on canvas

Till Next Time ...
From the Prairies, to the West Coast and Beyond...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Getting my Geese in a Row!

I finally got all my geese  in a row!

A little while ago I saw an image that one of my Facebook friends posted. It was gorgeous and I immediately made comment; "Wow, that would make a GREAT painting." A few emails later, my high school pal had sent me several high res images to work from. I couldn't wait to get started!

Like most paintings, I began with a yellow oche and white gesso background. I sketched the position of the geese and started to block in some colour.

28 x 22" canvas - just starting
This is what I refer to as the "It seemed like a good idea when it was in my head" stage. At this point you DO NOT want to ask anyone what they think of your painting, as you will easily get discouraged. You have to be strong and push through the block.
Making a few decisions at this stage

What I wanted to portray the most was the warm autumn colours of the background and the water. A thin wash of quin gold brought it all together. I also wanted to emphasize the amazing motion in the water as these geese prepare for takeoff. I was so entranced by the image that I couldn't sleep and  got up at 5 am to do more work on the water.

"Front Runners", 28 x 22", acrylic on canvas
I love the feeling, the warm glow and the action in this painting. What do you think?

Big thanks to my photographer friend Wes for the inspiration used for the painting.

Till Next Time ...
From the Prairies, to the West Coast and Beyond...

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Outside my Comfort Zone

Every now and then it is good to go outside our comfort zone.

When I saw a recent photo of my grand-niece I was immediately taken with her innocence and gentleness as she reaches for the flowers. I thought "Hm, I would love to paint that some day."

As I have done in the past, it is the image of the child ... their purity ... that I love to try to capture. "Innocence", (on the left) is a watercolour that I painted a few years ago. It has become one of my biggest sellers in print form. (original is NFS).

Over the course of a few weeks in August I decided to tackle the painting of my grand-niece, this time using acrylics. After all, I thought, it's just canvas! I can always paint over it.

Working slowly and precisely, it became somewhat addictive as with the slightest brush stroke, and change of nuance of colour, the painting came to life. It was actually not as scary as I had thought!!

I got the painting to a point where I was very pleased with it, I thought, "Hm, now it's time to ask a professional". I sent an image of the painting to Karen Martin Sampson, an award winning portraiture artist, and asked her what she thought of my piece. I nervously waited for a response. Finally a very lengthy email came back. The painting still needed work. The ear had to be moved, the head needed more shape, the arm should be pudgier and brought back some, etc, etc ... One by one I made the slightest adjustments to the painting and magically it was transformed.

I hope I have captured the feeling of "Ever Lasting Curiosity". Now the real test is to see what her parents think about it?

Till Next Time ...
From the Prairies, to the West Coast and Beyond...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A New Gallery in Town

This past weekend the Island Arts Magazine was invited to an opening at Ginger Nine Studio & Gallery in Courtenay. First we received an email from them, then we received a personal invitation in the mail. We had to attend!

Walking into the gallery we were very quickly impressed! The front space houses merchandise such as pottery, masks, jewellery ... even bath products (with their logo on them - a smart marketing move.)

The other rooms are gallery space. A unique "Artist's Emporium" divided into little rooms, houses some of the college student's work.

The owner, Tonya, quickly introduced herself to us and began telling us about her vision for the gallery. Her very impressive business plan, not only offers a gallery space, but also print services and a "Paint your own" ceramic room, used for kids parties, special events. etc. Future plans include a kilm for firing pottery and a drop in studio space for members.

Next time you are in Courtenay, make sure to drop by Ginger Nine Studio & Gallery. You'll be glad you did.The address is 130 - 211 Centennial Drive.

Till Next Time ...
From the Prairies, to the West Coast and Beyond...

Saturday, July 7, 2012

DeCosmos Show on Now

We went to the opening of the DeCosmos Fine Art Society's Summer Show last night. With over 100 paintings on display, it is one of the largest shows that the group has ever had. The place was packed as art lovers were taking their time and enjoying all the lovely work.

Just to spice things up a bit, I decided to enter my "Red Hot Peppers", as shown below.

The show is on until the end of July at the MacMillan Art Gallery in Parksville. If you get a chance in the next couple of weeks, make sure to drop by ... you'll be glad you did!

Till Next Time ...
From the Prairies, to the West Coast and Beyond...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Parade Banners a Success

There's nothing like a rush design job to get the heart pumping!

Last week I was asked to design four banners for the Chamber of Commerce in Fort Qu'Appelle Sask. for their July 1st parade - of this year!!! With only a few days notice, I put everything else aside and got to work.

They wanted the banners for their float vehicle so they had to be quite large. The two side panels needed to be 3 feet x 12 feet, and the two for the front and back were 3 feet x 7 feet. The problem with working in such a large format is that your file sizes gets to be quite huge. For such a project I set the resolution high and work with the files at 50%, and then have them printed out at 200%. Doing a large size format is not new to me, as I have done many highway billboards and those suckers are 10 feet by 40 feet.

By Monday night I emailed the proofs to the client, who quickly approved them Tuesday morning. I uploaded the files via FTP to my printers, "Western Litho", in Regina. By Tues. noon, two of the four banners had already been printed. Now that is great service!!

The client picked them up Friday morning. Here they are on July 1st just in time for the parade. Everybody's happy!

Maybe next year I can get a little bit more notice!?

Till Next Time ...
From the Prairies, to the West Coast and Beyond...

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Car Load of Paintings

The month of June found us on a road trip to Saskatchewan. First stop was the Grand Forks Art Gallery. They heard we were passing through and pre-ordered some gift cards for their lovely gift shop. The Gallery is stunning as it is in the old court house - a community landmark of historical importance.

Next we headed off to Fort Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan for a two day art show in the old school house, which a group of artists is converting into an Arts Centre.

The gallery space was beautiful. The show was a resounding success and it was great to see many familiar faces and also meet many new folks. I would like to thank everyone who came out to view the exhibition.

A big thanks to the patrons for their purchases. May you enjoy your artwork in for many years to come.
Setting up the Show - 'Scapes' in Saskatchewan

My next exhibition this summer is at the Clock Tower Gallery, 14-5440 Argyle St. Port Alberni, BC with fellow artist Jim Branston. The show runs the entire month of August. The gallery is open from 10 am to 5 pm, Monday to Saturday. Please drop by.

Also from now until the end of October, I have several pieces of work at the Raintree Gallery, 5101 Island Hwy, West. Qualicum Bay.
They are open Thurs. - Sun. 12:00 - 5:00 pm.

Lastly, we have been working at updating my website and online artists gallery. Please have a look.

Till Next Time brush stroke at a time!
From the Prairies, to the West Coast and Beyond...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Just call me the Juggler!

Instead of 'graphic designer' I should be called 'the juggler'. Today alone I am designing an ad for Sask. Tourism, trying to help in securing a billboard location for a design on Hwy. # 1 and redesigning a menu for a friend of mine. This morning I gave the final approval for the Travel Guide. (not to mention I am suppose to get my tax stuff together for a scheduled meeting tomorrow.)

One step at a time and everything gets done. Just like the tortoise.

Now what to do about the taxes? Oh Jeff!!!

Till Next Time ...

From the Prairies, to the West Coast and Beyond...